The "woman goes into labor in some crazy location" bit is so cliche on TV shows that you'd think no story could shock us. We've seen babies get born in elevators and the back seats of cabs, there was that shadow baby thing on Game of Thrones ...
But once again, real life kicks fiction's ass when it comes to situations that seem too absurd to be real. Here are five real women who stretched the bounds of believability by ...
#5. Giving Birth in a Tree, During a Flood
You see catastrophic floods on the news and you can only imagine what it's like to be those people huddled on their rooftop, or paddling around their submerged house in a canoe. But we bet we can think of one woman who can claim the title of Most Harrowing Flood Situation Possible.
It happened in 2000, when Mozambique suffered the worst floods in 50 years. A woman named Sofia Pedro was very, very pregnant at the time. She also failed to make it to shelter.
Via Believe it or Not
"Yeah, I'm daring you to complain about anything at all, ever, for any reason."
Instead, she was caught by the floods and forced to climb a tree to escape the rushing water, which some of us couldn't have managed under the best of circumstances, let alone while panicked and very, very pregnant. She then had to stay in that tree for three freaking days.
Again, just the circumstances we have so far stretch this beyond any reasonable person's imagination: three days, while pregnant, starving, terrified, soaking wet, with a devastating current of water just feet below you, ready to sweep you away if you tumble out.
And then she went into labor.
An actual photo from the scene.
While that may sound like extraordinarily bad luck in an already terrible situation, it's actually just the body's natural way of saying "We're ditching everything that can turn us into an anchor." So, 20 feet up in that tree above deadly flood waters, Sofia birthed her baby all alone -- successfully -- and held on to her in the branches until a rescue helicopter spotted them.
While it's miraculous that Sofia and the baby both survived, we have a thousand logistical questions we want to ask her. For starters, the narrow limbs of trees aren't exactly conducive places to squeezing out a newborn ... so how did a normal, two-handed woman keep the baby from falling while hanging from a tree? When the first rescue worker reached her and discovered that she was holding a baby attached to a dangling placenta, how did he keep from screaming? Is that the only story Sofia Pedro's friends will hear at every party for the rest of their lives?
"Yeah, that was cool. But where have you given birth this week?"
#4. Having a Baby in a Sinking Car
If we told you that a pregnant woman didn't make it to the hospital and gave birth in her car, your first response would likely be, "So what? Doesn't that kind of thing happen all of the time? We've seen that in like eight movies and 25 sitcoms." And then we would, of course, accuse you of being a witch for hyperlinking your voice like that. But you're right, babies fall out of ladies in cars so frequently that car companies really ought to start accounting for it in their fabric choices for the seats.
Knowing that giving birth to a car baby was old hat, Kennyetta Biggs upped the ante and gave birth to her child in a car while it was sinking to the bottom of a goddamn lake.
"All that money I paid to learn breathing exercises ..."
At five in the morning, Biggs left her home to drive to the hospital to have her child. "But why didn't she ask a family member to drive her?" you might ask. Well, Biggs was only 21 and kept the pregnancy a secret from her parents, maybe because she wasn't clear on how pregnancies generally end and she thought she could get away with it. Also because she probably didn't think the situation would turn into a national news story.
So in the predawn hours, she presumably slipped the car into neutral and coasted it out of the driveway like a rebellious teen, except one who sneaks out to have secret babies at hospitals. While driving, a strong contraction made her lose control and she crashed. At some point she realized that she hadn't just run off into a field, but that her car was slowly sinking into the depths of a murky lake. While she was strapped into that car, while going into labor.
"And my cellphone is almost out of minutes!"
Fortunately, the local deputy was on his way to work, and thanks to some top-notch sleuthing, he noticed that there was a car in the lake that hadn't been there the day before. Biggs was trapped inside the vehicle, and by the time the deputy arrived, there was already a newborn girl hanging out in the passenger seat, playing it cool and hoping the cop wouldn't notice that her umbilical cord wasn't a seat belt.
He pried the door open to rescue Kennyetta and pull her out of the lake. Even though she suffered a broken leg, her daughter was just fine. While there's no existing record of the conversation that occurred between Kennyetta and the deputy as he tried to free her from the sinking car, we're assuming it was something along the lines of "Please don't tell my mom and dad."
"What did I tell you kids about coming out here and having babies in this lake?"
#3. Giving Birth in a Train Toilet (That Empties onto the Tracks)
Considering how traumatic the unsettlingly common "I accidentally had a baby in a toilet" situation must be, it's hard to imagine how anyone would top it. Let's put it this way: It takes a story so bizarre that we would have immediately dismissed it as a hoax if it wasn't being reported by the Reuters news agency.
On a passenger train in India, pregnant 33-year-old Bhuri Kalbi reportedly left her seat to go use the restroom. Now, if you've never been lucky enough to use a train toilet in India, the system is pretty simple: It consists of a seat and a hole that leads directly to the ground below, effectively turning the train tracks into one long extended line of human waste. Needless to say, there aren't a lot of kids crushing pennies on the rails.
Seriously, if you've never done that, you have some childhood to revisit.
When Kalbi sat down to relieve herself, she was apparently overenthusiastic about it, because she accidentally gave premature birth to her child. And just like everything else people squeezed out of themselves in that toilet, it slipped down the hole onto the tracks while the train was moving.
Kalbi immediately passed out from giving birth, but when she came to, she realized she no longer had a baby kicking around inside her. After telling the staff and her family, they stopped the train and radioed to other rail workers that they should keep their eyes out for a baby along the horrendous shit trail known as the Indian railway.
So many old country songs now make so much more sense.
Miraculously, they found the child, a bit shaken and two months early, but completely fine other than that. Kalbi and her family rushed to the hospital, and the child was placed in the ICU. Of course, the little girl will go on to live the rest of her life knowing that the luckiest thing to ever happen to her involved falling down the toilet of a speeding train onto the cushion of shit below. Those aren't baby book images you can really pass around at dinner parties.
"And that's why you're named 'Turdstreak Trackthumper.' Now go play with your brother, 'Normal Vagina Baby.'"